SZD was always going to be fairly difficult to make a success for several reasons.
Not only could they not compete well with nearby, much better served airports (MAN
to name but a few), but they also faced stiff competition from the rail network. Being a little over 2 hours from London by train, and even with the 20 minute check-in time for flights, flying to the capital was never really viable.
Another factor of course was physical limitations - a small runway and small terminal meant regional flights was pretty much the glass ceiling. Yes, KLM operated flights to AMS
, but basically this was a pure feeder service for long haul.
Ultimately, it is sad that SZD just didn't work - when I confirmed my place at Sheffield University, BA
were still flying the J41 between there and BHD
. Sadly, they withdrew and a 90 minute journey between the two cities became a 5-8 hour epic voyage involving taxis, buses, trains and thats before even getting to the airport! DSA
may well be hailed as the replacement, but it is Sheffield airport only by name and the trip to Doncaster more awkward that going to MAN